Revellers asked to 'take tents home' as countdown begins to popular Ribble Valley music festival that attracts thousands

Revellers at Beat-Herder will be asked to take their tents home this year as part of drive to make the event more ecologically sustainable.
Revellers at Beat-Herder will be asked to take their tents home this year as part of drive to make the event more ecologically sustainable.

Music lovers at one of the North West's most popular festivals, which takes place in the Ribble Valley, will be asked to take their tents home this year.

Beat-Herder draws thousands of visitors from across the UK every year and after the event tons of rubbish, tents and other equipment is always left behind by revellers.

Last year 1,000 tents were abandoned by revellers at Beat Herder which co founder Nick Chambers described as a 'haunting' sight.

He said: “The camping area was left in a blanket of mess, abandoned tents and rubbish everywhere.

“It was a really haunting sight – and we need to change that.”

Nick added that the idea that all the tents go to charity was a 'myth' saying: "If you leave a tent then it is a huge problem because it will have to go to landfill with no other option.”

In desperation, Beat-Herder organisers invited three local charities to take as much as they could from the camp site. They took away 100 tents, 50 sleeping bags, pillows and chairs, but we were still left with an immense number of tents and assorted camping paraphernalia to dispose of.

Nick said: “If people really want their tents to go to charity then they should take them home and donate them to a charity shop.”

The average tent weighs 3.5 kg and is mostly made of plastic – the equivalent of 8,750 straws or 250-pint cups.

And in one year alone, at the mother of all festivals, Glastonbury, 20,000 tents were abandoned.

Now the Association of Independent Festivals, including Beat-Herder and Kendal Calling, have this year launched a campaign urging festival-goers to take their tents home.

Beat-Herder are also part of the Drastic on Plastic initiative, with festivals pledging to rid their sites of single-use plastic by 2021.

Beat-Herder have also forged a green path towards a more environmentally friendly experience, banning plastic

cutlery and polystyrene food trays. And, for a second year, no drinks will be sold in plastic bottles or containers.

Nick added: “Festivals are microcosms of real life, so it is only natural that within the festival bubble we are also beginning to see a shift towards more sustainable and environmentally responsible events, both from organisers and festival-goers.

“At festivals, we can work with audiences to inspire better decisions, reduce waste, and minimise ecological damage at this critical moment in our history.

"But there’s got to be a culture change from the audience and a realisation of their actions.

“We can remove plastic straws all day long, but the problem is far bigger than that.”

"It takes a 40-strong battalion a week to clear the campsite of rubbish at the end of the festival.

“It is a ludicrous amount of man power and time, longer than the festival runs for."

Beat-Herder chiefs were also landed a hefty bill running into thousands of pounds last year for removing litter and tents from the campsite.

Nick added: "It was an enormous task, but if that cost is reduced by people taking home their tents then we could put the money saved back into the festival.

“For example, we might be able to open up another stage at the festival if we didn’t have to spend that vast amount of money on the clear up operation.

“The message is: ‘Please keep it tidy and take everything home.’ '"

*Beat-Herder runs from Friday to Sunday, July 12th to 14th and the line-up includes Rudimental, Groove Armada, and The Sugarhill Gang,